A Photographer’s Journal: You Never Know, A True Story

A call came into the newsroom on Thursday evening that the Camden Police were dragging the Cooper River in Camden, NJ for the body of a young woman who had been reported missing since Monday. As a photographer for the local newspaper I was sent out to cover the assignment. As I arrived at the scene, I noticed a police helicopter with search lights hovering over the river as divers below assisted in the search. A crowd of on-lookers and other media had gathered at a bridge which was blocked by a police car. I greeted the reporters who told me the cops weren’t letting anyone through. Looking around I noticed I was the only photographer present.

As I surveyed the scene, I thought I might be able to get a picture of the activity on the river if I could get to the middle of the bridge. I started walking toward the police car.

As I approached, a young police officer stood in front of me and said, “No reporters allowed!”

I replied, “I’m not a reporter. I’m a photographer.”

Without hesitation, he said, “Ok, go ahead.”

© 2010 Peter Tobia


Peter Tobia is a photographer based in Philadelphia.

If you would like to see his work or contact him, here is his information:



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